Inside the City
Drawing on over ten years of ethnographic research on the neomelodica music scene in Campania, The Art of Making Do in Naples (University of Minnesota Press 2012) offers several empirical, theoretical and methodological points of interest for scholars working in a range of social science disciplines. For this reason, Meridiana hosted a forum on the book comprised of scholars from variety of backgrounds (history, sociology and anthropology). Pine’s work is the first to explore, through in depth long-term field research, the social spaces where formal, informal and illicit economic activities overlap. In their discussion, the participants of the forum engaged a number of issues relevant to readers of Meridiana, including: Pine’s concept of the «contact zone,» stereotypical representations of the neomelodica scene and of Neapolitan popular classes more generally, the power and form of camorra networks, the fraught relationship between researcher and the field, and the spaces of indeterminacy that comprise the topography of social research. Pine’s book and, in part, the forum discussion, argue for the need to question the interpretive and ethical certainties of «common sense» and/or theory, treat the field instead as a space of immanent knowledge to be considered situationally and concretely.
Keywords: Neomelodica music scene, popular classes, organized crime, contact zone